Latest Oilers Rumors – Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

In the wake of Monday’s management change, there’s expectations new Oilers GM Craig MacTavish could shake up the lineup this summer.

What moves could new Oilers GM Craig MacTavish have in store?

What moves could new Oilers GM Craig MacTavish have in store?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Joanne Ireland reports new Oilers GM Craig MacTavish claims he won’t shy away from addressing the club’s problem areas this summer. She noted the Oilers need more depth at center and on the blueline, which could involve buying out a veteran or two to clear roster and cap space  or trading one of their corp players.

EDMONTON JOURNAL/EDMONTON SUN: Oilers veterans Shawn Horcoff, Sam Gagner and Ryan Smyth (who played for MacTavish when he was Oilers coach) acknowledged changes could be coming for the Oilers lineup under MacTavish.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson doesn’t expect MacTavish will make a coaching change. He also doubts the Oilers will trade any of their young players, like rookie forward Nail Yakupov. He believes Ales Hemsky, with one year (and $5 million) remaining on his contract, could become a trade candidate, as could defenseman Corey Potter and center Eric Belanger. They could re-sign free agents Mark Fistric or Theo Peckham but not both. He also doesn’t rule out Gagner being dealt. It remains to be seen what they’ll do with pending UFA blueliner Ryan Whitney.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers have over $51 million invested in 15 players ( with over $8.5 million of that in bonuses) and can use their two amnesty buyouts this summer to free up cap space, though their status as a rebuilding club could make it tough landing veteran free agent talent. Hemsky has to be a goner by now, and depending on Gagner’s asking price, he could also hit the trade block. I have my doubts about Whitney being re-signed, as he might not want to return. I don’t believe they’ll trade any of their top young players.


  1. Whitney’s foot problems have been well-documented too. Considering the Oilers speed and skill, Whitney might have issues trying to keep up.

  2. Still boggled by MacTavish, so many better qualified external candidates who could turn this club around. Either way a major shake up needs to happen in Edmonton, with their current slump they could be drafting top 5 yet again. Eventually some depth and actually talented veteran leadership needs to come into this team. Someone like Ryan Miller or Ray Emery would look really good in net for the Oilers and could help change their fortunes.

    • Tambo was a joke as is the team he failed to build.

    • Talk about veteran goalies. I wonder if Lu for Gagne would be in the books? Be tough to a division rival. Edm needs a goalie, and Van needs a C though, so i guess you never know.

  3. Well, it did not surprise me that Tambellini was fired. He tanked most of his seasons. Made zero impacting changes, rushed prospects….. he just sat back hoping that he’d fill up with top prospects.

    Buyout the useless players, Horcoff being one. Trade Hemsky once and for all. Start adding the pieces.

    • I don’t know what is with the hate on for Horcoff. Sure, he makes too much money for what he does. However, he is also one of the few bright spots in Edmonton. Horcoff is a great third line defensive centre that wins in the faceoff circle. He may not be a point game changer on the ice as he once was, but the team does listen to him when he’s on the ice and he does make a defensive impact for the team.

      • Totally agree with you 100%. I like what Horcoff brings. It’s not his fault that Lowe gave him that contract.

  4. Should have fired Lowe as well. How many coaches and GMs are fired before they figure he’s the ultimate one to blame.

    • I completely agree. I also wish they would stop the carousel of ex oilers going from coach, to gm to vp hockey ops…

      Maybe bring in some fresh faces…

  5. I love this move in bringing in MacT. Any GM can find the big skilled players, but it takes somebody who had to work hard for every bit of success they had to see that same type of work ethic in other players.

    • I also want to add that this is just not a job for MacT, he cares for the Oiler organization and he WANTS to be part of it. You can’t say that about other qualified people out there, ie Burk. You know that MacT will do his best for the Oilers.

  6. I think Katz should have cleaned house and sent Lowe packing too. I like MacT, but i would have interviewed the gambit out there including Burke before hiring MacT.

    Lowe and MacT have to know they have a year to make things right, or they are out too. Lowe and all his rhetoric about being a winner and cherry picking everything but the last how many years of not making the playoffs?

    So I disagree with Spector about not trading any of their young core. MacT said, and i loosely quote, “i’m going to be aggressive and take bold risks…” Not resigning Hemsky or Gagne is not a bold risk. Letting smyth, whitney, potter, belanger go are not bold risks. There’s only one thing that qualifies as a “bold risk” and that’s trading a young core player. So take your pick, who knows which one, but if he doesnt trade one of them, he’s just more of the same old same old… His job is on the line. I bet you see a young core player go out to address some of those needs, veteran leadership, grit, etc.. Stanley cup winning experience…

    I like Paul Holmgren. He’s the definition of “bold risk” He traded Carter and Richards away to address what he thought he needed. If MacT walks the walk then i think you’ll see more of the same.

    Just my 2 cents…

    • The bold move could be trading his first round pick this year. Hemsky is under contract for next year. Gagner is an RFA. I think they would trade Gagner if they could find another solution for 2nd line center. Gagner has some potential chronic health issues and his stats this year are flattering compared to his actual quality of play.

      I fail to see what there is to like about Holmgren. Carter and Richards went on to win a cup and the Flyers have regressed. They still aren’t settled in goal and he didn’t do enough to fix the defense.

    • Holmgren took a bold risk shortly after a Stanley Cup final appearance and his players are now first to the golf course… not sure you picked the right model GM…

  7. By the way, i’m a Canuck fan, so i couldnt give a rats what the oilers did. Other than supporting another Canadian team, I hope they screw things up, and trade us a young core piece for an old has-been. That would be cool in my books!

  8. Who can take Lowe seriously, his short fuse at the press conference just show him for what he is. A guy with a short fuse, acts impulsively rather than methodical and intelligently. I feel for the Oilers fans unless they find new blood they’re just going to circulate the same concepts again and again. The current NHL need a lot of planning financial and operationally. Would you want Lowe to be looking after your finances, I didn’t think so

  9. Somehow I knew that the oilers wouldn’t be able to get away from the old boys oilers club. Katz should of stepped in and canned Lowe as well and hired some experienced and proven new blood. However it is what it is and perhaps McTavish will do what is required.
    I believe that they should trade Yakupov and their first to whomever gets the first overall pick for that pick and maybe a second or third and take Seth Jones. Then buyout Horcoff because he makes way to much and can’t be traded. Save the other buyout just in case they need it for next summer. Trade Hemsky, Peckham and a few other under-achievers for picks and sign a couple of veteren guys from the AHL that are not getting opportunity with their present club and are UFA’s, believe me their are a few. MacTavish has his work cut out for him but he does have a lot of young guys in the system he just needs some more veteren leadership that knows what it takes to win.

  10. Good luck with Howson as the VP of Hockey Operations. He did a great job in Columbus…lmao!

    • Howson built the current roster of the Blue Jackets who are on the cusp of the playoffs and have decent prospects in the fold – ie Murray. They have a similar record to Detroit with greater upside. His key mistake was thinking Mason would regain his rookie form. He eventually addressed that with Vezina candidate Bobrovsky and who else saw that potential in Bobrovsky?

  11. Yakupov and a first for the first overall pick seems like over kill if you ask me …